BIRD BUNS
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BIRD BUNS
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BIRD BUNS

Birds start singing and we understand that spring has come, that nature has awaken from winter sleep. We can feel and smell its magical blossom. Bird has become a symbol of spring for many people so it plays an essential role when celebrating a traditional holiday “Hukannie viasny” or “Spring calling”.

In Belarus one of the most highly appreciated birds was “busiel” (stork). It was the key figure during this spring festival. Everything around was richly decorated with colourful ribbons, with bright birds made from paper, threads, cloth and other improvised materials. Though the most common ritual dedicated to spring welcoming was baking buns in the shape of small birds. These buns were called “žaŭruki” (larks) and in some places “buśki” or “buśkavyja lapy”. The dough recipe was rather simple: flour, water and salt. People believed that such type of pastry will attract birds and make spring come quicker.

We would like to involve you in the process of celebrating “Hukannie viasny” and teach you how to prepare a traditional dish – bird buns!

Recipe 1:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour;
  • 100 gr softened butter;
  • 3 – 4 cups sugar;
  • 3 teaspoons liquid honey;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder;
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice;
  • 1 pinch salt.

Instructions:

Cream together butter and sugar. Add liquid honey, eggs, baking powder, salt and lemon juice.

Mix everything. Add flour in several parts. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough into a cling film and put it into the fridge for about 30 min. Roll the dough into a ball and then flatten it gradually in each direction. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Fold up each dough circle creating a half-moon shape and make several cuts to form the head and the wings (look at the photos). Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

 

Recipe 2:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour;
  • 125 gr milk;
  • 10 gr yeast;
  • 15 gr butter;
  • 1 egg;
  • 2 tablespoons sugar;
  • 1 pinch salt;
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

Instructions:

Make the yeast dough from the ingredients indicated above. Form larks as shown on the photos. Brush them with egg and bake in the oven until golden brown.

 

Recipe 3:

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 3,5 cups flour;
  • 1 – 2 eggs;
  • 1 cup sugar;
  • 1cup kefir or curdled milk;
  • 100 gr butter;
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda;
  • vinegar.

Instructions:

Beat together eggs and sugar. Add kefir (curdled milk), baking soda mixed with vinegar, melted butter and flour. Make the dough. Leave it for 10 – 15 minutes, then form larks, brush them with egg for shiny look of the finished product and bake in the oven until golden brown.

 

Recipe 4:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg flour;
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons sugar;
  • 1 packet dry yeast;
  • 0,5 cup water;
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil;
  • 1 teaspoon salt;
  • 1 tablespoon vodka;
  • raisins;
  • sweet strong tea.

Instructions:

Dissolve dry yeast in warm water (approximately 30 – 40 ºC). Add salt, sugar, vegetable oil and mix everything properly. The dough will rise better if you add 1 tablespoon of vodka to it. Slowly add sieved flour and knead the dough. Continue kneading until the dough springs back when pressed on with your fingers and is no longer sticky. Wrap the dough into a cling film and wait till it starts to fall a little bit. Larks are made from rather tough elastic dough (look at the photo). Brush the dough with sweet strong tea. Preheat the oven and bake the buns at 180 ºC until golden brown.

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